It’s that time again! Celebrities who can’t be bothered to actually try to dance properly in shows like Strictly are donning wigs and legwarmers in the name of Sport Relief.
Yes, Let’s Dance is back. It’s a guilty pleasure for me every year. It’s a fantastically dumbed-down programme with bad jokes, made up VTs and a blatent disregard for the art of dance by most contestants. Mainly it’s just used as an excuse for male comedians to struggle into a leotard and let out their inner drag queen.
I often don’t know who the ‘celebrities’ are. Today I was unsure whether one contestant was even male or female. With the exception of tapper winners James Thornton and Charlie Baker last year, the “dancing” is rarely pretty. But the judges’ comments make me giggle and I get to sit on my sofa, laugh and eat crisps while others exercise (and look daft) and this is all supposed to help Uganda, so frankly, what’s not to like?
EastEnders actresses Tameka Empson (Kim Fox) and Laurie Brett (Jane Beale) bopped to Lady Gaga’s ‘Telephone’. They were reasonable, not good enough to be really impressive but not funny either, pretty mediocre.
Shooting Stars stars Ulrika Jonsson and Angelos Epithemious (complete with shopping bag) performed their unusual take on a Tango to ‘Roxanne,’ described as ‘violent and dangerous’ by judge Greg Davies .
Cricketer and 2005 Strictly winner Darren Gough did a reasonable job of prancing round the stage, looking vaguely competent but a little rusty (well it has been seven years!).
Comedian Terry Alderton kept up tradition and dressed as Tina Turner in a fun joke routine to ‘Proud Mary’ complete with authentic Tina faces.
Veteran DJs Tony Blackburn and David Hamilton danced to Salt and Pepa’s ‘Push it’, described by Greg as ‘the rawest urban dance I have ever seen’ and by Keith Lemon as ‘Jedward in the future.’ I must agree with Graham Norton that it ‘contained the greatest element of danger’.
Finally Jessie J sang, Alex and Steve babbled and JLS presented a slightly uncomfortable film of their visit to Uganda, which jarred a little alongside the innuendo from the judges and a man pouting in a dress. Then it was results time.
Tameka and Laurie went through first, a real surprise for me, as you usually have to be hilarious or brilliant to win Let’s Dance and they were neither. Then Darren, followed by Ulrika and Angelos (I thought they stood a good chance) were eliminated, leaving Tony and David and Terry’s fates in the judges’ hands.
Graham stuck with his ‘radio 2 roots’ and selected Tony and David. Greg split the vote by choosing his favourite act of the night, Terry. Keith Lemon struggled to decide but listened to the audience who were chanting Terry’s name and so Terry made his way to the final.
Celebrities still to dance include Miles Jupp, Olly Murs, Scott Mills, Fatima Whitbread and Amy Childs.